The news of the 1st acute measles death in the US in over a decade is an event that should serve to remind those who doubt the ability of this virus, which kills 145,000 people per year, to inflict damage in the developed world. However, I doubt it because if people can blow off the 20% hospitalization rate that occurred during the Disneyland outbreak, one immunosuppressed person's death isn't enough to crack through layers of evasion.
I am interested to learn the details of this unfortunate case that resulted in a fatal measles pneumonia to see how the diagnosis was made, when it was made, and what confounding variables were present (I know no rash was present, something that occurs in the immunocompromised).
To date there have been 178 cases of measles reported this year, with nearly half of the 50 states being affected. The numbers are largely driven by the Disneyland outbreak that began last year.
Letting our guard down against this plague carries dire consequences.